Landing Bigger Contracts
I first became interested in whale hunting after attending a webinar hosted by Tom Searcy, the CEO of Hunt Big Sales . I found his presentation so intriguing I then bought and read his book, Whale Hunting, (published by John Wiley & Sons). I highly recommend reading his book. It is a quick, easy read with a powerful message.

His premise is can fish and hunt everyday to eat or you can you can catch a whale and feed you whole village for a year. Too many small to mid-sized companies live day-to-day and endure huge feast or famine revenue cycles. It doesn't have to be that way.

For manufacturers of highly engineered products, learning how to go after bigger accounts can generate the kind of revenue that will enable you to break through the feast or famine cycles that plague so many small to mid-sized companies. But its hard work and will likely require a major change in your company's culture.

Clearly, whale hunting is not for everyone. But for those engineered products companies that are willing and able to make the transition to landing contracts that are 10-20X larger than what you are used to landing, it can transform your business.

Tom Searcy begins both his book and his webinars with a brief and clever description of how the Inuit people of Alaska have hunted whales for hundreds of years and how this same process can be adapted to help small to mid-sized companies accelerate their growth by landing bigger, whale-sized contracts from companies that are much larger than they are.

As the Vice President of Sales & Marketing of Whirlaway Corporation, a manufacturer of highly-engineered precision metal components and sub-assemblies, we saw first hand what the impact of larger accounts could have on a small-to-mid-sized machining company. For Whirlaway, the impact was profound:
  • We stopped chasing the 300 or so RFQs that came across our desks each year
  • The value of the average job in the pipeline grew from about $2Million to more than $21M in less than 18 months
  • In 2008 and 2009, two of the worst years in U.S. auto industry history, Whirlaway posted record new business years of $54M and $68M

At the time, we didn't call it Whale Hunting, but the steps we took to transform our business were very similar to the Whale Hunting process described in Tom Searcy's book. In essence, the approach we took, which we call Visioneering, is a modified version of the whale hunting process strategically adapted to meet the unique needs and idiosyncrasies of companies manufacturing highly engineered products that require a long and complex selling process. The process is outlined below:

If you're tired of finishing second, and are looking for a way to drive your company to the next level, we should talk. Call our President, John R. Wirtz at 440-506-8963 for a private consultation. In just a few hours, together, we can determine if whale hunting is right for you.